Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 645: Which is better for music?

which is better for music garmin music 245 or garmin music 645

A music version of popular GPS watches is always a welcome addition. Music helps promote more engagement with physical activity, and makes interests like trail running much more fun.

With Garmin watches, two of the most popular music editions are the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645. But which is better for music?

Both the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music Edition models allow for music streaming through Deezer and Spotify. This is beneficial for those seeking music streaming options, and you can also save and store songs for offline listening when out of range of wi-fi.

In this guide, we will do a thorough review and comparison of the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645.

We will look at all of the features that come with each device, as well as a detailed comparison of the music features of each. Read on to find out which of these watches is better for music.


The first key detail to keep in mind about the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645 is that the watches are available with or without music. The non-music editions are a bit lower in price than the music editions.

Both of these watches are about the same price as the music models and feature a wide array of innovative performance tracking features with accurate sports tracking and more.

Both running watches include Garmin Connect, both utilize wi-fi effectively and comprehensively, and both are great for Bluetooth headphones, race predictor data through the pacepro feature, as well as newer technology and a comfortable watch band.

The Forerunner 245 music displays heart rate, training effect, energy levels through body battery, as well as Garmin coach, and all the latest new features, whereas the 645 does not.

The 645 model has a barometric altimeter and an overall better GPS tracking protocol thanks to a slightly longer battery. Both watches feature emergency contacts, which is universal across many Garmin devices. Both watches offer Spotify premium and other similar music features as well.

For a more detailed breakdown of what each watch has available and how each watch is different, let’s take a glance at each watch individually to compare and contrast the latest features of both running watches.

At a glance: Garmin Forerunner 245

The 245 music is a lightweight, feature-packed, and very responsive and superbly performing smartwatch. The best thing about this model is that it includes both music streaming and music storage to keep you moving along to your favorite music during performance activities.

The 245 music is a comprehensive and expertly packaged watch when it comes to training status and measuring health statistics such as heart rate as well as the inclusion of pulse ox oxygen sensing, to allow you to see how your respiration is corresponding to your overall heart rate.

The 245 music also comes with useful adaptive training plans through Garmin Coach. This feature allows you to customize your workout based on mixing and matching your favorite activities set against a range of health statistics and data that you want to keep better track of.

This model also prioritizes running dynamics including stride length to help you better gauge how your running performance is stacking up against some of the core running dynamics used to measure running performance.

The 245 music also comes with an auto-sense feature that allows you to set specific times across activity dynamics through lapsed times and useful heart rate zone features, based on the time you spent within each activity.

For a closer look at the Forerunner 245 Music, read more here.


  • Advanced running metrics are available with this model, especially when used in conjunction with a Garmin running pod accessory
  • Expert training status and evaluations as well as adaptive training plans
  • Superb GPS across a wide range of activities and training plans
  • Music streaming and storage of up to 500 songs
  • 7-day battery charge; 5 hours with music and GPS


  • No contactless pay feature
  • The display screen has been known to develop dead spots after a few years of continuous use

At a glance: Garmin Forerunner 645

Before the 245 music, there was the 645 music model. This is the original Garmin smartwatch that was heavily promoted due to its inclusion of both music streaming as well as music storage, and the watch still holds up now at the time of writing this guide.

Like the 245 music, the 645 music features music streaming through either Deezer, Spotify, Amazon Music, or iHeartRadio. You are also capable of storing up to 500 songs with 3 GB of storage space.

It’s not exactly an over-the-top music smartwatch, but it is perfect since most Garmin watches are designed for the outdoors and fitness.

The big difference here, when compared to the 245 music, is that contactless pay features through Garmin Pay are available on the 645 music. This is an important feature for many who prefer the ability to simply scan your watch at supported retailers.

The 645 music also comes with a barometric altimeter, and this is an important feature for those who are seeking a device (with music) that can accurately track performance activities at high elevations.

Another standout of the 645 music model is the wider range of activities that are supported on this device. Feature profiles such as skiing, paddle boarding, and much more are represented here, which makes the 645 music a bit more prolific in terms of advanced training features when compared to the 245 music.

The carbon fiber bezel of the 645 music is also a standout in terms of watch durability and long-lasting design dexterity.

For a closer look at the Forerunner 645 music, read more here.


  • Supports Garmin Pay
  • Includes a barometric altimeter
  • Includes performance tracking for many newer activity profiles such as XC skiing, paddle boarding, and more
  • Accurately measures, cadence, ground contact time, vertical oscillation, biomechanical measurements, and more
  • Accurate performance monitoring whether you are wearing gloves, a helmet, or other additional accessories that may throw off measurements on some devices
  • Superb battery performance of up to 7 days on one charge; 6 hours in GPS and music mode


  • The earphone compatibility of the 645 may cause irritation to some when using GPS mode simultaneously
  • Many of the advertised features will only work when utilizing an internet connection

Music Features

When it comes to music controls and also music on the watch, if you have the music edition of either watch, you can fit up to 500 songs on both watches. Both also feature a wide array of music apps available from Garmin.

Let’s take a close look at each watches music features.

Music Storage

Both the 245 and the 645 have roughly 3.5 GB of music storage. This means you can typically store about 500 songs on both watches. This is perfect when you want to leave your phone at home and only use the storage protocols on your watch.

Music Apps

Deezer and Spotify are the main music apps on both watches. You can also stream music across Amazon Music as well as iHeartRadio.

You can also upload your own music files to both devices via Bluetooth.

With this in mind, you will find that it is easier to transfer your music from a computer as opposed to using your phone. Garmin’s transferability is much easier with a PC or a laptop.

Built-in Speakers?

Unfortunately, neither the 245 nor the 645 has built-in speakers. You will have to use headphones to listen to music on either watch.


Here is a breakdown of the key features of both watches.


Both the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645 are similar in both design and build. Both watches feature Corning Gorilla glass class 3 faces, so there is a similar appearance to the front faces of both watches.

The Forerunner 645 has a stainless steel bezel, whereas the Forerunner 245 has a black bezel made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer plastic, which is durable, but not quite as strong as the stainless steel bezel of the Forerunner 645 since a metal bezel is always more durable.

Both watches are nearly identical in terms of overall size. The Garmin Forerunner 645 music is roughly a millimeter thicker than the Garmin Forerunner 245.

Both feature a standard, 20-millimeter watchband, and are nearly identical regarding the number of buttons to move through the display prompts of the watches.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 has the most up-to-date charging connector on the back of the watch and matches the same charging port found on the Garmin Fenix 5, Garmin Instinct, and the Vivoactive 3.

The Forerunner 245 also has a newer heart rate monitor, including pulse ox, both of which are clearly indicated on the back of the watch.


The display of the two watches looks nearly identical when sat side-by-side.

The only main difference in terms of watch face protocols is that the Garmin Forerunner 645 music does not display a heart rate monitor, whereas the Garmin Forerunner 245 does.

The overall screen resolution of both watches is nearly identical at 240 by 240.

The key difference in display is that the Garmin Forerunner 245 has live, 24 hours per day running power data displayed with up-to-date accurate data such as heart rate.

Battery life

The battery life of both the Garmin Forerunner 245 and the Garmin Forerunner 645 music is roughly 7 days on one charge.

When in GPS mode, and when using the music features, the battery life will drain much faster.

You can expect the Garmin Forerunner 245 music to last about 5 hours when in GPS mode and when using music, which is much lower than the stated battery life.

The Garmin Forerunner 645 music lasts about 6 hours in GPS mode and with music playing.

Ultimately, the Garmin Forerunner 645 music has a better battery life and a longer battery life compared to the Garmin Forerunner 245.

Garmin pay, GPS mode, and Garmin body battery

The Garmin Forerunner 645 music has Garmin Pay available whereas the Garmin Forerunner 245 does not feature Garmin Pay. Much of this has to do with the Garmin Forerunner 245 coming out before the inclusion of Garmin Pay.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 features a Garmin body battery score, which uses an array of metrics to provide data on heart rate and sleep data inside of a score that responds to your overall stress throughout the day.

The GPS accuracy of both watches whether in smartwatch mode or not is quite good and representative of Garmin’s mastery of this feature across nearly all Garmin watches.

Both watches feature point-to-point navigation tracking and an Ultratrac GPS option for advanced performance tracking across many different activity features.


Since this guide is exclusive to the music editions, you will find that both devices retail for generally the same price.

Ultimately, the Forerunner 245 costs slightly less than the Forerunner 645 music, but if you need the altimeter and Garmin Pay, pay the extra money and choose the Forerunner 645 music.

Which is better Forerunner 245 or 645?

Ultimately, you may find that the Garmin Forerunner 645 music has a slightly better build, supports Garmin Pay, which is a very useful feature, and includes a barometric altimeter which makes the Garmin Forerunner 245 a bit inferior due to less accurate sports tracking.

The Garmin 645 music also has the ability to pair well with external sensors which really ramps up its running power profile, and muscle oxygen levels, as well as a key advantage in excelling at various threshold tests across many exercise modes.

The Garmin Forerunner 645 music is truly designed for those seeking to take their fitness tracking needs to the next level. But both watches are stellar.

The Garmin Forerunner 245 does provide a lot of fitness features and many useful smart features when in smartwatch mode. Plus, its inclusion of a pulse ox sensor is an interesting feature for those who need accurate readings of their blood oxygen level.

Although the newest model of the two, it is unknown as to why Garmin did not include many of the features of the 645 music to the newer model, but a need to promote variability between the two very similar watches was likely the reason.

Due to the barometric altimeter and its ability to display accurate elevation stats, and its slightly better battery capabilities, the Garmin Forerunner 645 music stands out a bit more.


When did Garmin 645 come out?

Both the standard and music versions of the Forerunner 645 came out in the spring of 2018. Both versions are still quite popular, with the Forerunner 645 music being a bestseller thanks to its altimeter and music storage.

Is Garmin 245 newer than 645?

Yes, the Forerunner 245 came out in the spring of 2019, which makes it a year younger than both versions of the Forerunner 645.

Should I wear my Garmin to bed?

If you are experiencing poor sleep, and you want to take advantage of any of Garmin’s sleep tracking features, the only option would be to wear your Garmin to bed.

There are no concerns to be worried about in terms of possible burns or rashes as have been found with other brands that specialize in sleep tracking.

If you are experiencing wrist agitation, you may want to limit wearing your watch to bed to a few days per week in lieu of every single night. This is optimal since it allows you to gather just enough sleep tracking data to grasp your sleeping health accuracy.


Whether you choose the Garmin Forerunner 245 music or the Garmin Forerunner 645 music, both brands of Garmin smartwatches are nearly identical in terms of music features as well as being available in a non-music version.

You may find that the Forerunner 245 music has a better value since it offers a slightly cheaper price, but the inclusion of an altimeter as well as incident detection, contactless payments, and slightly longer battery when in GPS and using the music option, make the 645 music watch a great watch for those seeking more advanced fitness.

Want to find a different smartwatch? Read our buyers guides now:

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At Best GPS Tech we found it frustrating that there were limited websites available, willing to provide an honest opinion on the latest GPS technology to aid our interests. We enjoy creating content around GPS products from the industry leaders such as Garmin, FitBit and more. We hope you find the site informative in helping you make the right buying decisions.

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